tv Washington This Week CSPAN April 20, 2014 4:40pm-5:06pm EDT
cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. hd, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> president obama, vice president item, and the sector a marriage --irs, eric chin seki kicked off the wounded warriors project soldiers ride. this is 15 minutes. theadies and gentlemen, president and vice president of the united states accompanied by secretary ericsson seki. secretary eric k. shinseki. [applause] >> good morning. mr. vicedent, president, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2014 soldier ride. to all of our wounded warriors,
but especially these who are making this year's ride, thank you for your service and thank what triumphng us over adversity looks like. be sharing your inspiring examples with the communities you will be visiting in the next several days. we wish you much success in your continue recovery. wish is moreus success and well-being that are president. thanks to his unwavering leadership, commitment and support, more than 2 million additional the have enrolled in v.a.. more than 1.2 million veterans haveligible family members received educational systems and vocational training through v.a. . the disability claims act law is down over 45% since last year. veterans homelessness has declined by 24% since 2010.
the president understands and appreciates the sacrifices you and your families have made for budgets fornd his v.a. have reflected this understanding. over the past68% six at your request. we could not have a stronger veterans advocate will stop now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my preferred schmoe -- personal and professional honor to introduce our commander-in-chief, the president of the united states of america, barack obama. [applause] >> hello, everybody. welcome to the white house. for not just ack nice introduction, but more importantly for your outstanding and youro our country service to our veterans and fellow wounded warriors.
want to mention our vice president here has been alongless in his support with spouses, michelle and joe biden for military families. we are very proud of everything joe has done. this is the fifth time i've had the honor of welcoming the soldier ride to the white house and this is one of my favorite event of the year. you know it is spring or at least supposed to be spring when the soldier ride comes around. is because those who participate are such an incredible inspiration to me and to our country. lookl of the writers, you outstanding, especially after yesterday,iles another 17 today, all told, nearly 60 miles.
cheer we want to come and you on and i think we have some folks from the army here, that correct? and the navy. air force. marines. that was good. coast guard. and we've got some extraordinary families here today. yay, families. theow, everybody knows story how this got started. we had a bartender in long island who came up with the idea of riding his ike with the idea of supporting wounded warriors. chris couldn't be here. he owns a gym now. i think you inspired him to trade and his bike for barbells. we want to thank everybody at the wounded warriors project for their support. i know some of you are doing this for the very first time. have written three
or four times, some of you are writing in tandem with your parents. but for all of you, this is a lot more than a bike ride. it's a mark of how far you have come. many of you are recovering from devastating injuries. learnf you have had to the basics all over again, how to stand again and walk again and run again. thatre here today because is what is all about, seeing each other through the finish line. terry is here.j he was in afghanistan when he was hit i an ied and ended up losing his life. reflecting on his service, he said he would do it all again. now he's got a new goal of getting in the best shape possible to play with his three kids. so today, he is here on his first soldier ride. we've got sergeant luis alfonso ramirez.
he even assisted at the airport as they begin their dignified transfer home and was later diagnosed with post paramedics dress. he credits the wounded warriors project with helping him heal. he says you know that they got you. this is his fourth ride. sergeant major cedrick banks is here. the explosive -- the explosion in iraq left him with true brain injury. but after years of rehab, he's focused on the future. he volunteers here in washington and mentors young man with a life skills they need to succeed. he calls himself a warrior to society. this is his first soldier ride. met jeanette a few years ago at walter reed where she was recovering from an injury she received in iraq, some of you know when i visit with our troops, i often hand thecoins with the seal of
president. she shook my hand and said mr. president all of these things -- all of these men think your coin is the best. i made a bet with them there is a coin that can trump yours. i said what are you talking about. want the first lady's coin. the first lady's coin would be yours. it's true that the first lady trumps me. her proudest accomplishment is being a peer mentor for wind warriors. she says i was definitely being carried and now i feel like i'm helping to carry others. i want to thank you, jeanette. this is first and foremost for riders, but alle of you make it so special for all of us because you inspire us, you inspire the country. some of whom will be out cheering along your ride.
you inspire me with your courage, your resolve, your resilience and tenacity. proud to be your commander-in-chief. michelle and i treasure every moment we get to spend with you and your families. ofry day, i have the honor serving as his country's commander-in-chief. as long as i have that honor, i will make sure i am fighting to make sure you and your families get the care, treatment and benefits you and your family deserve. to servele ask of you your country and give your all and make your sacrifices, you have raised your hands and you have stepped up. you have held up your end of the argument. especially now as we are winding down the war in afghanistan, after ending over a decade of war, we are standing up to you. our obligations to our veterans and were for your entire lives. that's why we are here.
not just for this ride, but all year long. with that, the sun is out, it is a spectacular day. the racers look like they are ready. it looks like it's time to get the party started. god bless you. god bless america. what's get this going. [applause] -- let's get this going. [applause] >> are you guys ready? are you sure? sure? on your mark -- i have to say this looks like the spray. set -- get sett
>> president obama is scheduled to leave for a weeklong trip to asia on tuesday. he will visit japan, south korea, malaysia and the philippines, stopping on the way in washington state to survey damage from the mudslide that killed 39 people last month. president obama will be the first sitting president to visit malaysia since lyndon johnson visited in 1966. we will bring you any news from his trip there on c-span. tomorrow on c-span, we will look at russian politics and russia's influence around the world. this morning, we talked about the ongoing tensions surrounding ukraine and the agreement reached west week in geneva. here is about 10 minutes of that conversation. washington journal continues. host: join us to discuss the
ukraine is matthew rojansky. he is from the wilson center. you're glad to have you back on "washington journal." we are three-day removed from that international pact. it is still early. is that succeeding? guest: it is better than nothing at this point. the united states and the european union and the russians as well as the ukrainians are involved in the process on some level. the geneva talks that came out of it, that they were able to get any agreement means that diplomacy has a chance. there has been violence, the separatists have not abated the ,uildings that they occupied the russian side has asked that program ukrainian forces stand down, nobody has moved in that direction.
we have relative quiet. it seems like the agreement gives us the opportunity to let or heads prevail. aggrieved --dy agreed to this except the separatists on the ground. guest: the challenge is the relationship between the and theical actors forces on the ground. just as the united states and europe can't dictate to key of let's not disconnect the story from that story. they are related. just as we cannot control what those authorities do, the russians cannot necessarily directly control what pro-russian separatist do in
eastern ukraine. that is where it gets tricky. the russians have sent -- set a big precedent in crimea. the russians will come in and ,reate a de facto new reality like annexed the territory or provide reinforcement that nobody could dislodge them. in the mind of separatists in whoever youukraine, think they are, the calculus is still if they can just get over that tipping point and be successful enough to occupy anugh positions and become dislodge will, the russians will come in and make it a reality. who are the separatists? guest: i have been the fly on the wall for these conversations between americans and russians. i hear over and over the same conversation. haven't you seen the hard
evidence that there are russian agents stirring up trouble in eastern ukraine? from the western side. the russians say what hard evidence? the evidence that there were wmd in iraq? it is surreal talking around each other in circles. the one common denominator is the progression forces on the ground are more likely to listen to moscow and if moscow can talk to the west and try to figure out a compromise, they will have more influence than anybody else. second, violence in the situation, if there is a lot of bloodshed and we get into a shooting war, it is to nobody's advantage. it means that ukraine will be a basket case.
pearson a more from the associated press on the shooting. place att took checkpoints in ukraine. it left one person dead and others hospitalized with gunshot wounds. since thehe first international agreement was reached last week to these tensions in eastern ukraine. reports like this, do they concern you three days later? guest: it is easter. both on the ukrainian side and the russian side. they are orthodox christians. these provocations indicate that for some people on the ground, all bets are off.
they are on the mindset that this is civil war. that is why this it -- scariest things. friends saykrainian they are at war and it is time for mobilization. them, doself saying to you not realize if you get assistance or not, if you're at war with russia you have already lost. assistance ofthe the west is giving? there been calls for legal assistance from the united states. where are we at right now questio? guest: our best assistances direct negotiation. , which arets targeted sanctions of various kinds. they may escalate. in terms of the direct v, if weship with kie got into the business of fighting a war with russia
proxy, weukrainian would still lose. this is literally their backyard. they have tens of thousands of troops amassed on the border. they have done multiple military exercises. they have a huge amount of support from individuals on the ground. it is still huge amount. we would lose. i don't think we are in a position at this point, ukraine is not a nato ally. we have no legal obligation. we should not be supplying them with equipment that could very easily turn a situation that is probably still manageable at this point into an outright unmanageable war. host: if you want to talk with matthew rojansky, we are talking about the crisis in the ukraine. the phone lines are open.
u.s.,'re outside the you can call in as well. is crimea a complete loss for ukraine? are they still looking to gain crimea back? guest: realistically speaking, i have not seen a political scenarioor military that results in crimea at changing hands away from russia at this point. it is not just the technical fact that russia has annexed crimea. it is the reality on the ground. there is overwhelming support from the crimean population. they are having their assets taken away from them and being marginalized. a good job ofe
consolidating their control over the region. there is going to be a diplomatic push to get compensation for this. began totaling up the value of state assets -- assets in the peninsula. it is in the tens of billions of dollars. could there be a deal where the out ukrainian debt? you have to be prepared to be cynical and real that crimea is lost. kiev arerities in kiev living in the twilight zone and they don't legitimize or admitted. like with except something what happened in crimea in other parts of ukraine? guest: only if they were forced
to. if it was that or an out right war in which they would likely lose. the scenario that comes before that that is more appealing is that they have some kind of dialogue that leads to a new relationship between the region and the country, especially the eastern region. these are the places they have been having trouble. perhaps they can figure out a way, this is similar to western europe, giving autonomy to scotland within the united togdom, figure out a way give enough power to the easte >> tomorrow, the heritage foundation hosts a series on russian politics and influence, including its intervention in the